Who Has Nothing Fears Nothing

“There was a time,” she told us, “when light lay on everything. On the hills and forests, on the sea and sky, on the good and bad equally. Light was everywhere. We had no fires, then, nor lamps.” She sighed. “We were wealthy, then, and did not know it. You could see for miles; one time my father took us to see the great tower at Pallas, and from that height you could see … everything. The whole world. On one side, the impossible sea, on the other, the houses and forests and in the distance the slumbering bulk of Amhurst.”

We laughed, and she grew fierce. “Hush! What do you know, blind worms, who were born in darkness, and will grow old in darkness, and die in darkness without ever seeing the day? Children of the night, be silent, and listen: the last child of evening speaks to you, that you should know that this has not always been.”

And so we stilled, and listened for a long moment to the popping of the fire, the susurrus of the crickets. “She’s fallen asleep again,” Terrence whispered, but she hadn’t.

“Stupid child,” she growled. “Learn to listen. Learn patience. What else is there for you? In the day, many things are done, and many plans planned for nothing, but night demands more. Your children may learn impatience, but they should teach it to themselves, as we learned patience.”